Eberhard Faber’s “Graphite Pencil Company”

In 1894, the Eberhard Faber Company dissolved its agency with A.W. Faber in Germany. A point of contention between the two companies—one that would see twelve years’ worth of lawsuits fought in New York and Bavarian courts—was the use of “E. Faber” as the label on their products. A.W. Faber felt that it promoted confusion between what were now two competing companies.

Around 1893, Eberhard Faber II (son of Johann Eberhard Faber, who died in 1879) began manufacturing pencils under the name “Graphite Pencil Company.”

The E. Faber Company began manufacturing pencils as early as 1861 while they were still an agency for A.W. Faber. However the pencils they produced were “of the inexpensive sort”; they continued to import high-quality goods from A.W. Faber in Germany.

It seems like the Graphite Pencil Company was created in part as an attempt to sidestep the lawsuit, but without the equity of the Faber name, it was just another in a sea of burgeoning American pencil companies.

A.W. Faber would go on to win the lawsuit, only for it to be reversed on appeal. It was all moot, however, as the E. Faber Company began labeling their products with the full name “Eberhard Faber” before the first decision was handed down by the court.

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